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Choose Wisely: Not All Dog Toys Are Made For Dogs

Updated on September 21, 2014

"Is this even a DOG toy?"

If you're a seasoned dog toy buyer, you may have noticed that some "dog toys" aren't really dog toys at all. They're just re-packaged baby toys and stuffed animals. And, instead of keeping the wants and desire of dogs at the forefront, these toy manufacturers are marketing solely to dog owners - hoping they'll find the dog toys "cute" enough to buy.

dog toy pocketbook
dog toy pocketbook

How to Tell if a Dog Toy Was Made With You in Mind or Your Dog

First, take a good look at the so-called dog toy. If it's shaped like a cup of coffee or has the picture of a nostalgic candy on it, well then it's marketing towards your needs, not your dog's. We can guarantee your dog's not the least bit interested in the fact that a stuffed toy is shaped like a lollipop or lipstick or a pocketbook - yes really!

But, don't worry, choosing quality dog toys that your dog will love is easy. Just think like your dog. Dogs like to chew, dogs like noises, dogs like to fetch, dogs like to chase things, dogs like to tug, etc. A dog toys's MAIN purpose should be to be fun to play with, not to look cutesy.

Did you know that there's even a whole line of interactive dog toys that let you have fun right alongside your dog? Yep, these dog toys are designed for both owner and dog to play together. For instance, tugging ropes or a bubble blower that you control to blow bacon bubbles to your dog, tennis ball throwers and more.

Real Dog Toys Need to be Built Tough!

Every dog owner knows that dogs have strong teeth and powerful jaws. And that a regular stuffed animal would be lucky to last an hour in a pooch's mouth before it's torn to shreds. That's why it's important to buy only dog toys that were made for dogs...and not repackaged kids stuffed animals with a "no really, I'm a dog toy!" sticker on it. "But how can I tell the difference?" Well, it's simple. Good dog toys are made by trusted dog toy manufacturers who specialize in making quality, safe dog toys, rather than mass producing cheap-o junk - selling the same stuff to both discount toy stores and dog stores. If you're buying soft toys for your dog, look for toys that are made with tough fabrics (like canvas or mesh). If you want extra-tough soft dog toys, then look for tough fabrics and extra fabric and stitching layers. One of the strongest soft dog toys on the market is the Tuffy's Mega Ring. It's made from tough canvas and has seven layers of stitching and four layers of fabric. No one can say that was made for a kid!

Let's Play a Game!: Baby Toy or Dog Toy?

See how good you are at telling the difference between a toy designed with a baby or a dog in mind. I won't lie to you, it's tricky. Even I couldn't tell and I'm a dog for Pete's sake! ~ Max the dog

Quiz #1

Quiz #2

Quiz #3

Quiz #4

Quiz #5

Check out these REAL dog toys!

These dog toys were definitely made with dogs in mind

Busy Buddy Bristle Bone

This dental bone is not only fun and tasty to chew, but it cleans your dog's teeth too! The tasty rawhide rings (which are replaceable) make the Bristle Bone pretty much irresistible to any dog but it's also the hard nylon bone, rubber grips and bristles which make it one of the most exciting bones around. It's amazing that something this fun to chew could actually be cleaning your dog's teeth at the same time...but it's true! Retail price: $18.95

X-Tire Ball With Animal Sounds

A very popular dog toy that makes over 20 different (and realistic animal sounds). It keeps dogs interested in chewing and tossing this fun dog toy around for long periods of time. Plus, it's 5" in diameter which doesn't present a choking hazard to dogs (unlike tennis balls) and the outside is molded from Flexi PVC as a single ball - so you don't need to worry about the pieces coming apart when Fido starts chewing on it. Retail price: $15.95.

Tuffy's Turtle

For strong chewers that prefer only soft dog toys, Tuffy's dog toys is the brand preferred my most dog owners. Why? Because their toys are made with seven layers of stitching and four layers of fabric - to make sure they last well beyond the average stuffed toy. Retail price: $17.95

Bubbletastic Bacon Bubble Machine

It's pretty much a fact that all dogs love bubbles. In a non scientific, casually asking around kind of factual way of course. So, it only makes perfect sense that there's a bubble machine made just for dogs that comes with bacon-scented bubbles! Dogs love popping all those bubbles and you'll have a few laughs watching your dog frantically trying to catch them all. Retail price $24.95

Amazon's Pick For Actual Real Dog Toy

These dog toys are true dog toys (not baby toys in disguise), so they were designed with dogs in mind.

So, how'd ya do? - Are you a dog toy expert?

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      anonymous 5 years ago


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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Awesome article! Some of these toys are so cute. :)

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I guess not! Crazy how similar some baby toys and dog toys are. What the??